I have been performing as "Windmills" for the past 5 years.
In that time I have released two full-length albums, one EP, toured across Canada multiple times, received grants between $1,500-$10,000 for my recordings and music videos, have 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify with over 700,000 streams on my music, received radio play both domestic and internationally, and have had my hand in every facet of the industry.
If I can pass on any information, be it creating a social media presence to launching a successful marketing campaign or album release, I will. The music industry is labyrinthian at times and can seem impossible to navigate. I would love to answer any and all questions you may have, across the board, about being a musician, finding success, setting goals and reaching them, and to always "keep moving".
Filmed on the coldest Monday in 2014, I had the idea to film myself in a room full of lamps and see what happened.
The goal behind this video was to create a standalone and memorable video I could later use for festival applications, grant applications, and more specifically, my application for the 2015 PEAK Performance Project.
Ultimately my goal was a success, out of 400 bands that applied for the PEAK in 2015, I was one of 12 that were chosen to experience this career changing artist development program.
Directed by Brandon William Fletcher
Produced by Brandon William Fletcher & Cory Myraas
Shame was funded ($10,000) but TELUS and Storyhive.
Out of all the bands that applied across BC and Alberta, Storyhive selected 10 bands from each province to award a $10,000 music video grant. This was the project we created.
Filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.
There are so many important aspects to being a musician, but the one that sits right up at the top is: live performance.
This is how you gain those lasting impressions with your fans, how you turn an online "like" into a real fan, your best point of sale with your audience, and the opportunity to take your songs across the country. I've made an effort to play as many shows as possible in the last 5 years, and as many different and unique shows as possible as well. From house concerts, to art parties, dingy bar shows, private events, music festivals across Canada, and showcases, there should be no end to your hunger to play your music live.
Photos from left to right: Performing at Shambhala 2015; the Barfly in Montreal, Taste of Edmonton 2013
There is so much beauty to pull from in every discipline imaginable that sometimes when I'm asked where my inspiration comes from I fumble at finding the right way to articulate it.
So best I can, here is a list of some of my inspirations, influences, personal heroes, and things I love in general that have inspired Windmills along the way.
... and about a million more ad infinitum ...
Things I'm constantly inspired by:
Inspiration isn't one thing. There's sounds in my songs that are inspired by anything and everything.
At it's simplest I've hidden African percussion and instrumentation in my very Western songs, I've sampled things like the creak a piano chair makes when sat on, pots and pans, old movie dialogue, anything that can add to the sonics of a song. I've been inspired by films, and how the film score can deeply affect how you view the movie as a whole. My musical influences range from my contemporaries and peers, to classical composers, genres I have no connection to, and many others.
As a musician, or any creative for that matter, there should be no limit to your inspiration and your influences, these are what help you find your voice, these will only help you grow.
The third song from my album, "Measures" - "Her's Place" quickly became one of my most popular songs, especially on Spotify, where it currently has just under 336,000 plays in the last year, and sits on 4 different playlists on the platform.
One of the most personal songs I've ever written, "Her's Place" is a reflection of my youth and a self-conscious effort to grapple with mortality, be it my own, my family's, or the mortality of a specific place and memory; something we are helpless to save as it alters with time.
Most importantly, this song is for m Grandmother.
On a very basic level, windmills convert energy.
As an artist, Windmills does much the same thing, taking personal tragedies, triumphs and memories and transforming them into songs dripping with heartbreak and anguish. Windmills is the moniker of moody indie swoon pop artist, Cory Myraas. Based in British Columbia’s picturesque Okanagan Valley, Windmills burst forth in the spring of 2011.
Impressive both on record and in concert, Windmills has since developed a significant following in the BC interior and beyond. It’s easy to see why. A clever songwriter with strong lyrical command, the words in a Windmills song are always accompanied by a soundscape that tells you how to feel. A genuine one-man show, this is a musician in charge of his craft. He has also become the Okanagan Valley music scene’s semi-reluctant heartthrob - handsome, tattooed and slender with a voluminous flop of magical hair, this is a man that gets marriage proposals via Twitter.
However, that’s secondary to the music. Since 2011, he has released two full-length records - 2012’s Keep Moving and 2015’s Measures - and a 5-track 2013 EP, Tilting. Windmills has also completed multiple Canadian tours, secured performance spots at festivals like Rifflandia and Shambhala and reached the Top 12 of the prestigious 2015 PEAK Performance Project. All the while his popularity continues to grow, with his two most listened to songs on Spotify - both from Measures - amassing more than 700,000 plays at the time of writing.
His music has champions well beyond the boundaries of his native Okanagan, with his sounds being well received in Canada and internationally, from the US to Asia and many countries in between. Importantly, there’s a clear evolution in the Windmills sound, and his songwriting continues to develop becoming stronger and more mature.
In addition to his album releases, Windmills makes a consistent effort to play as many shows as he can, polishing his live sound, increasing his listenership and regularly winning over new fans. The next chapter of the Windmills story is still to be written, but it promises to be fascinating. Windmills keep moving.